Soletanche Bachy boosts virtual site safety with SimplyVideo

By Dominic Ellis
Specialist subsidiary of VINCI Construction is equipping field operatives with RealWear Assisted Reality headsets

Soletanche Bachy is transforming health and safety management using technology from SimplyVideo, the connected worker collaboration platform for extended reality.  

By equipping field operatives with RealWear Assisted Reality headsets and connecting them to offices, this innovation allows site visits and inspections to take place virtually. Soletanche Bachy, a specialist subsidiary of VINCI Construction, completes 4,000 projects each year as far afield as New Zealand, Singapore and Ecuador.

It develops high-performance geotechnical solutions that include deep foundations using piles and micropiles, retaining diaphragm walls and reinforcing solutions. These essential engineering works provide the foundations for building anything from tunnels to roads, airports, dams, railways, ports and buildings. 

The management of safety traditionally required regular site inspections, but the curtailment of travel in the pandemic created a particular challenge. To maintain an element of control, Soletanche Bachy needed a solution that could break down the barriers, so the company turned to the latest technology from SimplyVideo to allow virtual site visits.

“With global travel restrictions being imposed last year, the pandemic exacerbated the issues related to health & safety,” says Stuart Brooks, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Manager (HSSE) for Soletanche Bachy International Major Projects. “Ultimately, SimplyVideo was the only platform that offered what we considered to be a workable solution – we needed more than just a remote expert tool; we needed a cross-reality collaboration platform and that’s what SimplyVideo does so well.” 

In the field, Soletanche Bachy uses head-mounted devices that incorporate a microphone, display and speakers for complete hands-free working. According to Brooks, one device in particular has been a real game-changer; the RealWear HMT-1 head-mounted Android tablet. The rugged unit will survive drops onto concrete and provides easy voice-based operation in noisy environments.  The display in the boom actually appears to the eye as a 7-inch screen, offering multi-language speech recognition and 4G connectivity.   

SimplyVideo also gives Soletanche Bachy a virtual mentoring tool allowing onsite training of less experienced workers.  

Those with greater expertise can join in virtually, rather than in person, and help them using their greater knowledge and experience. "The beauty of the SimplyVideo solution is that we can bring more expertise together; something we simply couldn’t do before. The platform gives us a clear visual representation of what’s really happening on site," added Brooks.

The Soletanche Bachy system was delivered in partnership with the East Sussex based independent IT supplier SystemActive, a SimplyVideo and RealWear reseller. 

Industry updates

  • Arlo Technologies, a smart home security brand, has announced the new Arlo Go 2 LTE/Wi-Fi Security Camera. Ideal for monitoring construction sites and other locations that aren't regularly occupied or where wifi may be unavailable or unreliable, Arlo Go 2 works with a 4G LTE cellular data plan to provide continuous connectivity and uninterrupted security.
  • XOi Technologies, the system of record for field service data collection and indexing, and IFS Core, the developer of Sage Service Operations, Sage Field Operations and Tech Tool, have enhanced their integration that connects, empowers and enables specialty contractors and field service technicians to elevate user experience and value.
  • Gilbane Building Company and Nextera Robotics have entered into a joint venture partnership to develop a transformational AI platform that utilises a fleet of autonomous mobile robots to track construction progress and provide safety monitoring at job sites.
  • ShaikhTech has introduced Matterport's AI digital twin technology into the UAE's real estate and construction market.


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